Romano on questions of family status in European PIL


Professor Gian Paolo Romano (University of Geneva) has just published a highly insightful paper entitled “Conflicts and Coordination of Family Statuses: Towards their Recognition within the EU?” The briefing note was prepared on request of the European Parliament as a contribution to a workshop on “Adoption: Cross-border legal issues” for JURI and PETI Committees, which took place on 1 December 2015. The paper focusses on, in the author’s words, “intra-EU conflicts of family statuses” that are bound to arise under the current legislative situation: Over the years, the European Union has adopted a wide set of Regulations that cover international jurisdiction, applicable law and recognition with regard to the legal effects flowing from a family status, while the creation or termination of family statuses are predominantly excluded from the Regulations’ scope. Thus, the question whether and on which grounds a family status awarded by one Member State is to be recognized in other Member States is still widely left to domestic PIL, often resulting in conflicts of inconsistent family statuses between Member States, which, at this stage, cannot be resolved in legal proceedings. After reflecting upon those conflicts being contrary to human rights as well as to the objectives and fundamental freedoms of the European Union and demonstrating their potential to frustrate the aims of European PIL instruments, the author discusses four possible legislative strategies for preventing conflicts of family statuses across the European Union or alleviating their adverse effects.

The compilation of briefing notes is available here (please see page 17 et seqq. for Professor Romano’s contribution).